Want to know right away what is the best web hosting provider in Europe? Cloud86 is the best choice for most people because it is fast, affordable, and easy to use.

Many hosting providers promise the moon on a stick but offer mediocre hosting for too much money. Here’s the challenge though: going just by their websites, many hosting companies are barely discernable and are drowning in jargon. So how to decide which provider to pick?

This article tells you what the best web hosting for Europe-focused websites is. My picks are based on an industry-wide research in which I’ve purchased hosting plans at 30+ providers and tested each provider extensively on metrics such as speed, stability and support.

A quick word on your run-off-the-mill hosting recommendations. If you’ve visited similar pages to this one, you might have come across providers such as Bluehost, GoDaddy and HostGator. Here’s the problem with these providers: they’re terrible. These are bottom-of-the-barrel companies that get only recommended because they pay extremely high affiliate commissions. Websites promoting them are sell-outs. Don’t be fooled.

The best web hosting for Europe for 2022

  1. Cloud86 – Affordable and super-fast LiteSpeed servers
  2. Rocket.net – Best WordPress hosting for power users
  3. Hoasted – The best all-round hosting experience
  4. Hostinger – Okay budget hosting with servers worldwide
  5. SiteGround – Bit expensive but ideal for beginners

For this article I started out by making an overview of all hosting providers that focus on Europe (i.e., they’ve got solid server locations here). I then purchased a hosting package at many of these providers and looked at speed, stability (uptime), customer service, price, and features.

As Start24 for a large part revolves around WordPress, I have mostly looked at these hosting companies through a WordPress lens. I tested the exact same WordPress website at each provider to figure out how fast each provider is relative to one another. Having that said, these speed tests should serve as a decent proxy for other web apps like Drupal and Joomla.

I ended up picking 5 hosting providers which are quite different from one another and therefore have to offer something for everyone.

in the end, there is no such thing as “the best” hosting provider. Whatever is the best provider for you depends on your specific wishes and needs. Do you have a mission-critical business website and do you want to be able to contact your hosting provider 24/7 with 1 minute waiting time at most? Then you’ll need a different provider than a freelancer whose site effectively is an online business card and which receives just the occasional visitor.

Start24 is a blog that focuses on (online) entrepreneurs, founded by Joost Boer (yours truly) and Tom Berger. We have been entrepreneurs ourselves for years and have noticed that it was surprisingly difficult to find the right software to support our companies.

An example: I used web hosting that was way overpriced and offered terrible customer service on top of that. I didn't know any better. With Start24 we want to make it super easy for freelancers and SME businesses to choose the best business tools. We test all the software we cover here extensively and only recommend services that we would use ourselves.

Still not quite sure which hosting is best for you after reading this article? Do not hesitate to leave a message below or contact us via info@start24.nl. We’d be more than happy to help.

#1 Cloud86 – Affordable and super-fast LiteSpeed servers

Cloud86 is a relatively new Dutch web hosting provider which only a few months ago started targeting Europe in its entirety. Yet they’ve have built up a fantastic reputation within this limited time frame, gaining a legion of rabid fans:

Cloud86 customer reviews

It’s a provider which offers the perfect mix of state-of-the-art technology, a highly personal support team and affordability.

Here’s what I love about Cloud86

  • Speed. With loading times of half a second, Cloud86 one of the fastest hosting providers in Europe. They don't skimp on their cheapest hosting packages, so you get access to super-fast LiteSpeed servers for just a few euros a month.
  • Personal customer service. You can reach Cloud86 by phone with no waiting time, or just send them an email. Their contact details are not hidden somewhere in the deepest recesses of their website but can be found on every page.
  • Fits any type of website. The provider offers excellent shared hosting plans for sites that receive up to about 50,000 monthly visitors, but also offers heavy-hitting VPS hosting and a Virtual Private Cloud. So no matter how big or small your site is – Cloud86 fits the bill.
  • Great value for money. The cheapest Cloud86 plans cost between a few euros per month and 12 euros per month.
  • They are independent. This is pretty unique in the European hosting landscape where the majority of hosting providers have been acquired by a conglomerate and as a result offer lackluster hosting services.

Things to keep in mind

  • Cloud86 is not yet that established. They’ve only been around since 2019, although their core team has been working in the hosting industry since 2006.  
  • They don't have 24/7 customer service. You can only reach them during Dutch office hours. This is probably the biggest downside about using them and I can imagine this to be a bit off-putting to people who are used to reaching their hosting provider every hour of the day at a whim.

Who should pick Cloud86?

Anyone whose website visitors are located in or close to Europe and who do not require 24/7 customer service. Their shared web hosting is perfect for small to medium sized sites and once you outgrow these packages you can upgrade to their VPS plans. Cloud86 is super easy to use for beginners, but also offers plenty of advanced functionality for experienced users.

#2 Rocket.net – Best WordPress hosting for power users

Rocket.net is easily one of the best WordPress hosting provider for people running one (or a couple) of mission-critical, high-traffic sites and are looking for the best support in the business.

It is a set-it-and-forget-it hosting provider where serious webmasters come to host their site without a care in the world. Things like Cloudflare and security already have been set up and taken care of. And even their lowest plan supports up to 250.000 monthly visitors.

Rocket.net hosting plans

All of this comes at what might seem at first like a hefty price tag, but looking at comparable providers like Kinsta and WP Engine it’s actually not bad at all.

Here’s what I love about Rocket.net

  • VIP Customer Service. You can reach Rocket.net 24/7 within a minute. Their team will go the extra mile for you.
  • Safety. You get automatic daily backups. In addition, you get free access to Cloudflare Enterprise (which would cost you $6000 otherwise) protection and your site gets monitored 24/7. There also solid malware protection baked in.
  • Super-fast and reliable. Rocket.net has 250+ edge locations around the world, so no matter where your visitors are, your site loads pretty much instantly. The provider boasts an average worldwide Time to First Byte of 70 ms.  
  • Easy to use. Good old cPanel is powering their hosting dashboard.
  • Straightforward plans. Their plans have almost exactly the same features. This makes choosing a plan super easy: pick one based on your monthly visitors and you're good to go.

Things to keep in mind

  • Rocket.net gets pricey if you run a bunch of smaller sites. Their plans are geared 100% to heavy-hitting websites. If you run a lot of smaller websites, things get costly very quickly.
  • No email hosting. In all fairness, most premium hosting providers such as Cloudways, Kinsta and Runcloud don’t offer this either. I guess that if you’re the right kind of client for Rocket.net, you’d rather host your email separately at Google Workspace or Outlook.

Who should pick Rocket.net?

Are you looking for a carefree hosting experience for your WordPress website and are costs of secondary importance? Then Rocket.net is a great option. They are very popular among larger companies and serious bloggers.

#3 Hoasted – The best all-round hosting experience

Hoasted is after Cloud86 the second Dutch provider on this list. So you may call me biased at this point towards hosting providers from my native country, but Hoasted is so good that I can’t not include them.

It’s a provider that pretty much solely relies on word-of-mouth marketing which is why you probably have never heard of them, but they can count massive organizations such as the Dutch government and Oxfam Novib among their clientele.

The good news is that their cheapest plans are budget-wise totally within reach of most website owners.

Hoasted homepage

Here’s what I love about Hoasted

  • They’ve been around since 2012. Many hosting providers start to slide when it comes to quality over such a timeframe, but not Hoasted. If anything they’ve been only getting better.
  • Incredible performance. They use LiteSpeed servers which they renew on a yearly basis. As such, you’ll always get access to the latest and greatest technology stack. How fast does this make them? Well, think of a Time to First Byte of 140 ms before even optimizing your site. After optimization you’ll be able to hit a TTFB of 40-50 ms.  
  • Customer service available every day of the week until 10:30pm (Dutch time). This is probably their most important differentiator versus Cloud86. It isn’t quite the 24/7 customer support of the other providers in this list but it comes pretty close assuming you work at European hours. Waiting time is around 10 minutes.  
  • Entry level shared hosting but also great VPS plans. This means you get to start off nice and easy on the cheap. But when the need arises and your site is bursting from its seams, you won’t have to switch hosting providers.

Things to keep in mind

  • You can’t install that many websites on their hosting plans. This makes it less ideal if you run many smaller websites.
  • They don’t really cater to hobby sites. Their cheapest plan is definitely affordable, but still a bit pricey if you run a small site as a side-project.

Who should pick Hoasted?

Honestly, Hoasted fits a great many website owners. Given that they’re super-fast and offer support that’s probably going to be there when you need it (if you’re reading this, I assume you’re based in Europe), they are a great fit for many people. They are quite affordable overall as well and offer a wide range of hosting plans, too.

#4 Hostinger – Okay budget hosting with servers worldwide

Hostinger is a decent budget hosting provider that gives you access to dirt-cheap hosting plans if you’re willing to pay a few years in advance. On most of their plans you can install as many sites as you like, which is great if you run many smaller websites.

Thanks to their LiteSpeed servers they are fast, too. But don’t expect anything mind-blowing when it comes to their uptime (reliability) and customer support.

Hostinger website

Here’s what I love about Hostinger

  • Solid deals. If you're willing to pay a few years upfront, Hostinger lets you host a single site for less than $2 a month. For hosting with 24/7 support, that’s extremely cheap.
  • Modern server stack. A few years ago, Hostinger switched to LiteSpeed ​​server technology. You can therefore count on excellent load times.
  • 24/7 customer service. Granted, you have to wait 30-40 minutes for a response (unless you pay extra for priority support), but Hostinger's customer service is available 24/7. Employees are on average less capable than those of the other hosting providers in this overview though.
  • Easy to use. Hostinger's self-developed hPanel is intuitive and beautifully designed, making managing your sites easy as pie.

Things to keep in mind

  • Only suitable for small to medium sized websites. While Hostinger offers almost all types of web hosting (shared, VPS, cloud), they only shine when it comes to shared hosting.
  • Their customer service wait time can be annoying. Once you're chatting with someone, expect to wait a few minutes between replies. This can make solving a simple problem take up an hour or more easily.

Who should pick Hostinger?

People who are looking for a decent internationally oriented hosting provider for as little money as possible. They have servers all over the world which is useful if you are attracting an international audience. Hostinger is best suited for hobby projects and smaller sites though.

#5 SiteGround – Bit expensive but ideal for beginners

SiteGround has long been one of the most popular hosting services in the world. The provider is known for its speed, reliability, excellent customer service and user-friendliness.

I’ve been using them for years myself and though still impressed with them, I do feel that they’ve hiked their prices a little bit too much over the past few years.

SiteGround homepage

This is what I love about SiteGround

  • Ideal for beginners. I've been working with SiteGround for years and every time I enter their dashboard it’s a joy. Their self-developed Site Tools are super-fast and easier to use than the dashboard of almost any other web host.
  • But enough firepower for experienced users. While SiteGround is perfect for beginners, it’s also suited for experienced users. Their plans have excellent specifications and can handle sites that receive hundreds of thousands of visitors per month. Behind the scenes you also get access to a wealth of advanced features.
  • 24/7 telephone customer service and live chat. SiteGround's customer service is one of the best in the industry. I must have used it over 20 times over the years and am always impressed with how quickly my problems have been resolved.
  • Many attractive WordPress features. You can install all kinds of web apps on SiteGround, but they excel in WordPress. They offer all kinds of super handy WordPress features and extras such as a 1-click test environment (where you can easily develop new designs for your site) and their own caching plugin.

Things to keep in mind

  • Extending your plan is expensive. SiteGround has attractive entry rates. But beware: after the first year you’ll pay considerably more. This is nothing unusual among hosting companies, but with SiteGround it’s quite a leap (3x price increase).
  • Customer service is a bit hidden. In recent years, SiteGround has made it more difficult to reach their customer service. You have to dig a little more into their site and work your way through a series of computer-generated questions before you can speak to an actual human being. Pretty annoying given what they charge.

Who should pick SiteGround?

People looking for high-quality, easy-to-use hosting who don't mind paying a little more. If you ask me, SiteGround fits a large number of website types: (growing) blogs, ecommerce sites, and business websites.

Conclusion

It took a while, but I finally managed to make a shortlist of the 5 best web hosting providers in Europe.

I expect that at least one of these providers will be a great fit for your website.

Here they are once again:

  1. Cloud86 – Affordable and super-fast LiteSpeed servers
  2. Rocket.net – Best WordPress hosting for power users
  3. Hoasted – The best all-round hosting experience
  4. Hostinger – Okay budget hosting with servers worldwide
  5. SiteGround – Bit expensive but ideal for beginners

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